Ferrari: Massa stable with fractured skull

Felipe Massa remains in a stable condition in hospital today after fracturing his skull in two places during a freak accident in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Felipe Massa remains in a stable condition in hospital today after fracturing his skull in two places during a freak accident in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

A Ferrari statement today read: “After undergoing an operation yesterday afternoon, Felipe Massa’s condition remains stable and there were no further complications through the night.

“He will be given another CT scan today which will provide more precise information.”

The 28-year-old was struck by a spring - which can weigh anything up to a kilogram - that had worked loose from Rubens Barrichello's Brawn GP during the middle 15-minute period of qualifying.

The spring was seen bouncing along the Hungaroring track before flying over the front of Massa’s Ferrari that was travelling at 170mph, striking the Brazilian on the helmet just over his left eye.

Massa appeared to be knocked unconscious, with his right foot jamming down on the throttle as he drove straight into a tyre barrier.

Stricken in the car, photographs emerged showing a fist-sized dent in his helmet, and with the visor up, there was a large cut over a blackened left eye.

Massa was initially treated at the circuit’s medical centre before being taken by helicopter to Budapest’s AEK military hospital where he underwent emergency surgery.

A Ferrari official later described the operation as a “success”.

It is now hoped the brain scan later today will confirm Massa is en route to recovery.

Former F1 driver Johnny Herbert, now a BBC pundit, described the accident which put Massa in hospital as a "freak" but urged the sport to look at any ways in which safety can be improved even further.

He told BBC Radio Five Live’s Sportsweek programme: “It was something so freakish that can happen. It’s very rare but we all know as drivers that it’s the risk we take and we know it’s there.

“The safety that the FIA have improved upon over the last 20 years has been absolutely magnificent and I think it showed with the pictures I saw of (Massa’s) helmet. It took the impact so brilliantly well that they do think it saved his life for sure.

“There are possibilities of improving (safety) but I just hope there is no panic and rush into doing things that I’m sure over time could be done in a very proper manner.”

More in this section

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
Puzzles logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.